Markus Burger (born September 30, 1966) is a German pianist, composer and music educator currently residing in Santa Monica, California, who teaches at Los Angeles City College and Fullerton College in Los Angeles. He works in a variety of genres, including jazz, New Age, chamber and film.
His music has been performed in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, and most recently in the United States. He began studying piano at age six and later earned his Diplom in Performing Arts from the Essen Folkwang Hochschule in Germany, a B.A. in piano and Composition from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and a Certification in Popular Music from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He studied with Peter Walter, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and Kenny Werner.
He has released eight albums, featuring his own compositions and arrangements, among them, his two most recent releases, Genesis and Tertia. His CD Genesis, an avant-garde jazz collaboration with renowned drummer Matt Marucci, has received raving reviews from jazz critics in the United States while his latest Spiritual Standards project Tertia, with Berlin-based saxophonist Jan Von Klewitz, made its debut during a nationally televised performance in Germany on New Year's Day, 2005. His second album, The Smile of the Honeycake Horse, with his quartet Septer Bourbon, received wide acclaim from the European press and Down Beat Magazine in the United States and achieved something of a “cult following” in Germany. His Spiritual Standards project, a collection of contemporary jazz improvisations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s greatest chorals and masterpieces, was performed at sold out venues in Germany, Poland, Italy and the United States, later moving to the top 20 in the German Jazz charts in 1999.
In developing his signature sound over the years, Burger drew his influences from a wide range of musical styles including J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Pat Metheny, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Sting.